Saleem Mirza, the driver of the bus filled with Amarnath pilgrims that came under attack on Monday night in Anantnag came out as a hero after saving lives of several pilgrims.
Survivors from the attack were grateful to the driver as they recalled the incident. He fearlessly continued to drive through the hail of bullets.
“God gave me the strength, he gave me the strength to save lives. All of a sudden, they (terrorists) started firing on us, but I kept on driving and did not stop,” said Mirza who was driving the bus.
Seven people died and 21 were injured, but the numbers could have been higher if the bus had stopped.
The incident occurred at around 8:20 pm between Baltal and Mir Bazar when the bus was heading back to Srinagar from Amarnath. Officials said the bus was neither a part of a convoy nor was registered with the shrine board.
Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani said he would nominate Mirza for a bravery award. Of the seven dead, five were from Gujarat, and the bus was registration from the state.
“We want to thank the bus driver who saved many lives amid heavy firing. The Gujarat government will nominate Saleem for the bravery award with the central government,” Rupani told the media at the airport where he had come to receive the remains of the pilgrims.
While many radical right wing leaders and social media handles have started spewing hate, let us for a second appreciate this man’s bravery.
Source: Hindustan Times